Suzanne Stewart\r\nStaff Writer\r\n\r\nAt the Marlinton Town Council meeting Monday evening, council discussed a variety of topics and made decisions which will affect the town in positive ways.\r\n\r\nThe biggest topic of discussion was the consent order from the West Virginia DEP [Department of Environmental Protection]. Council and its attorney, Tom White, and Lee Stone discussed the order, which is a culmination of civil penalties for violations concerning the town\u2019s wastewater treatment facility, dating back to 2016.\r\n\r\nWhite explained that he and Stone have worked with the DEP \u2013\u00a0presenting the town\u2019s plan for a new sewer system, as well as the town\u2019s willingness to pay the penalties and bring an end to the conflict.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe\u2019re going to work through our plan of corrective action to make the repairs we need to make, but that doesn\u2019t resolve the civil penalty portion of the violations,\u201d White explained.\r\n\r\n\u201cTom and I would not be here and the mayor would not have proposed this for the councilmembers consideration if Tom and I didn\u2019t believe that we were really at the end of the negotiation line on this consent order,\u201d Stone added. \u201cThis is the culmination of several years of work, and we\u2019ve really reached the dry point where there isn\u2019t much else to do.\u201d\r\n\r\nStone added that if council did not approve to move forward with the consent order and pay the penalties, the next course of action might include the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] taking action against the town.\r\n\r\n\u201cEither you resolve to pay it and put this behind you, and move forward with the plan of corrective action, keep your violations to an absolute minimum at best, figure \u2013\u00a0I hate to say it like this \u2013\u00a0it\u2019s a cost of business going forward until the violations are finally extinguished or you risk being sued,\u201d he said. \u201cBeing sued is going to be potentially much more expensive in the long run.\u201d\r\n\r\nCouncil discussed the matter and approved to follow the fifth revision of the consent order and all the parameters attached, which includes payment of $148,380 in penalties.\u00a0\r\n\r\nCouncil also discussed several resolutions and agreements with Region IV senior project specialist Cassie Lawson concerning the town\u2019s sewer system improvement project.\r\n\r\nLawson explained the items which all fall under the larger improvement project. She said Resolution #5 is related to the smoke testing Dunn Engineering completed for the town. The resolution will cost $3,429.40 \u2013\u00a050 percent will be paid through the West Virginia Infrastructure Jobs and Development Council grant and the other 50 percent will be paid by the Town of Marlinton.\r\n\r\nLawson also explained the emergency project declaration resolution, which will allow the town to move forward with purchasing equipment for the improvement project without going through a bid process.\r\n\r\nCouncil approved both items. It also approved the draft of a Letter of Understanding for the Region IV PDC administration agreement and approved the first payment of $1,000 for the emergency repairs project. The payment will be made with funding from the critical needs grant.\r\n\r\nIn other business, council approved\r\n\r\n\u2022\u00a0 a HubCAP team Letter of Intent for a VISTA for the Town of Marlinton and a budget not to exceed $1,000.\r\n\r\n\u2022 to allow Pocahontas County High School to have a Homecoming Parade in Marlinton on Friday, October 13, at 5:30 p.m.\r\n\r\n\u2022 approved a motion to require town employees to use sick, vacation or personal days if they test positive for COVID-19 or they are quarantined due to contact tracing.